Where Leaders Come to Think

Favorite Books of Faith


A few weeks ago a fellow blogger invited me to participate in a favorite faith books meme. Imagine my surprise having never heard of a meme. For those of you, like me, a meme is, “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” Thank you Wikipedia for that definition.

Bloggers definitely are a culture that is full of…ideas. You probably thought I was going somewhere else with that one, didn’t you?

However, I have found that sharing great books and ideas with other like-minded people is powerfully fun. Especially other believers who represent many Christian traditions. The power behind the meme is a person’s ability to track back and see a list of great books from many sources. I recommend you visit Cinhosa’s blog and his post, here.

Let’s face it – I read a lot, and overtime accumulated lots of favorites. It was a difficult task to narrow down my choices to simply three books. So I decided to cheat and mention that the Bible is my favorite book. The following “other” books are ones that I read over and over. The goal of a meme is to get more and more people involved. Please leave your top three books in the comment section or decide to keep this meme going on your blog. I would enjoy hearing about the books that have influenced you spiritually.


The Imitation of Christ  –  Thomas A Kempis

Have you ever desired more God in your life? The Imitation of Christ provides readers a strong example of a pure and Holy Christian walk. Touching on many specific subjects you can feel the connectedness Thomas a Kempis felt with Jesus and his deeper understanding of spiritual truths. This book is great for daily meditations and an inspirational example of a man walking closely with Christ and in harmony with those around him.

Renovation of the Heart – Dallas Willard

Dallas Willard is famous for his accessible no-nonsense look at the Christian faith.  This book will take a person on a deep spiritual journey and help one form a strong spiritual base from which to build.  Having said that, this is not a beginners book to the Christian faith.  Don’t be intimidated by Mr. Willard’s deep thinking it simply takes time and thought to process the concepts of putting on the Character of Christ.  It’s worth every minute drawing closer to Christ.

Beautiful Outlaw – John Eldredge

John addresses the personality of  Christ like I have never read before.  For me, this revelation of Christ is absolutely riveting.  To take time out to study the personality of Jesus and know him this way will change you.  It changed me ,as I fell more and more in love with  God.   You can watch John talk about his book on a previous post of Beautiful Outlaw here.


So what are your top three books of faith?



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  1. janiese

    I’ve never heard of the word meme before. It sounds fun. I read alot myself. The Bible is my favorite; preferably the King James Version. My second favorite is, “Restoring a Prophetic Nation ” by Chuck Pierce and Dutch Sheets. My third favorite is,”The Prophet’s Handbook,” by Dr. Paula Price. I can go on and on. GOD BLESS YOU! Have a Blessed Day!

    • Mark Mathia
      Mark Mathia03-12-2012

      Thanks for sharing Janiese you are going to keep me reading! 🙂

  2. pastorjeffcma

    “Read the Bible for All It’s Worth” is possibly the best book on Bible study that I have read. I recommend it quite often. It’s based on understanding that there are separate principles of interpretation based on the different genres of Scripture. You will definitely find it useful.

  3. pastorjeffcma

    When you read as much as we do this is a tough one. But I will give an attempt. These are in no specific order. #1–“The Knowledge of the Holy” (A.W. Tozer) #2–“Reading the Bible for All It’s Worth” (Gordon Fee & Douglas Stuart) #3–“Celebration of Discipline” (Richard Foster). Now as far as your list is concerned. Clearly “Imitation” must be on anybody’s short list of great devotional classics and it is a great one. While I love “The Spirit of the Disciplines” by Willard, I am not familiar with the one you have listed. Good post and a great exercise.

    • Mark Mathia
      Mark Mathia03-10-2012

      Thanks Pastor Jeff! I have to agree Tozer’s book was incredible. His teachings were my introduction to life with the Holy Spirit. Excellent choices – I have not read “Reading the Bible” will have to check it out. I also wanted to tell you that Schmidt’s Sausage House in Columbus Ohio was out of this world. I got there too late to visit the book store but the “Bahama Mama” was amazing. (So was the Pauliner) 🙂 – just saying. What a super cool part of Columbus. Thanks for the heads up.

  4. cinhosa


    Thanks for posting your books. Beautiful Outlaw sounds like a great one!

    • Mark Mathia
      Mark Mathia03-10-2012

      Yep – You Colorado guys have to stick together! (Actually, that’s where I was born and raised as well.) I am reading it again with a group of friends this time and having some amazing chats. Thanks again Jeffry for the invite. God Bless.

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